13'' Pro Longevity vs. 13'' Air (2012 models)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Pinkbelly, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Pinkbelly macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2012
    I apologize if I am beating a dead horse, but I had a sudden wave of buyers remorse and I was hoping somebody with more MacBook "experience" than me could give me a hand. I ordered a 13" MacBook Pro (mid-2012) base model and upgraded the ram. I got an awesome deal for an Intel 330 180GB ssd which I was planning to put into it.

    The reason i went with the Pro over the Air was for 2 concerns:Upgradability and Durability - I thought that the Pro would be a more viable option for me over the span of 3-4 years (minimum) that I will own it.

    I am a student and I have my laptop with me on most days. I use it for the general stuff along with some light computational work (Mostly mathematica and some modeling....I am a Physics/Geology Major). I thought that the air may not me "sturdy" enough as I do get heavy use out of my laptop. Therefore I played it safe and went with the pro.

    I have owned the classic early-2008 white MacBook for over 4 years and I usually did not find the weight too bothersome.

    Is my logic reasonable? My MBP is in the mail but the air is looking mighty sexy right now.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Poochi macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2010
    I had a 13" Macbook unibody (first release), and then 13" Macbook Pro (2009), when Macbook Air (2nd generation) came out, I sold both of my new computer and have been very happy with the Air for my school work.

    It is much cooler, lighter (huge noticeable difference), and meets my needs for school work (Masters degree).

    Just personal preference.
  3. riveting macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    The only advantage I can see from the pro is the upgradability of ram and hd (you can't upgrade CPU or GPU obviously) vs the air. However, if you got 8g ram for the air, I don't think you will need any more ram in the life spam of the laptop. For the storage, you probably have options to upgrade SSD for the air as well, just not the regular one (maybe a bit more expensive). Other than that I think they are about the same longevity, you have to decide if the above is worth to lug around 1.5lb more and suffer from the low resolution 1280*800 screen.
  4. grpaul349 macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2005

    I'd say RAM and HD upgradability is a huge factor. The 13" Pro can handle up to 16 GB of RAM. Really - thats a pretty inexpensive way to get another year or two out of your system.
  5. Pinkbelly thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2012
    Thank you all for replying! I'm seriously considering all of your points.

    I don't do any professional editing (movies or pictures), and the hardest thing that I do to my laptop is subjecting it to the torture that is adobe flash and some mathematical stuff (nothing serious). MAYBE some light gaming (Starcraft II and maybe diablo 3 in the future)

    My BIGGEST concern is the strength of the frame in the air and if the 1.8GHz i5 will work well after 3 years. I don't beat up my laptop, but I DO tend to carry it around quite a bit.

    I've heard reports that the air is pretty easy to bend. I want this puppy to last!
  6. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2007
    You did the right thing. With 16GB RAM it will be fantastic and fully future-proof. In a couple years when 1TB SSD drives are $99 all you have to do is plug it in.

    I never liked the wedge shape anyway :)
  7. filmak macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2012
    between earth and heaven
    spot on :)

    And if you have ever a need for a cd or dvd the drive is there for you.
    (plus FW, Gigabit ethernet and battery indicator)
  8. riveting macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    I really don't see much use of 16G ram over 8g ram for this dual core machine. Anyway, it is a comprise. Yes, after a few years, maybe you can upgrade to 1TB SSD. But in the same time, you may find that the CPU is too slow, the GPU won't cut it, the 1280*800 resolution will be a joke, the battery maybe close to die. etc.. the newer laptop is much faster, lighter, sleeker and all comes with a retina IPS screen, come with newer connections, USB4, 802.11*m, LTE...

    The pro is more futureproof interms of ram and hd upgrade, air is more future proof in terms of higher resolution screen and lighter weight, same as the current pro and cons. But honestly, nothing is future proof.

    Just think about it, if you currently have a 4 to 5 year old macbook, do you spend money to upgrade it to a 1TB drive, buy and upgrade as much ram (ddr2) as possible to it, go to Apple to replace the battery, or do you want to simply sell it and upgrade to a newer up to date macbook pro.

  9. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    this. If you are debating the 13" air or pro, get the air with 8gb of ram b.c you are more likely to encounter CPU restraints before RAM restraints with the dual cores. If you want something more future proof the quad cores are what you are looking for b.c they will last longer when you think about needing 16gb in the future. With that said, you will get 4-5 years out of the base air with 8gb on ram and spend less than the cost of buying a base pro and upgrading the parts. Plus you don't have that horrid res.
  10. Highlander- macrumors member

    May 15, 2012

    This confuses me because isn't the processor in the 13" MBA slower than the 13" MBP? :confused:
  11. lympero macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2008
    Arta, Greece
    i have the same dilemma and i cant decide... both have major cons and the only future proof solution is a 15" mbpro but thats too expensive!
  12. FastEddiebags macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2012
    You will be fine with your choice. Once you install the ssd you will love your mbp
  13. kdoug macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2010
    Iowa City, IA USA
    I've owned 2 MBA's and several MBP unibodys. Both are good computers but I never really like the wedge shape of the airs and both cases on the air creaked. I ended up buying a Pentalobe screwdriver to tighten the screws that kept coming loose because they have no real frame. The battery on the Air is 5 hours vs. 7 on the pro. The colors on the screen of the Pro seemed more vibrant. The Air does have a higher resolution though. If I we're buying another 13, I'd definitely buy the Pro over the Air. The Pro absolutely flies with the right SSD and memory to the max.
  14. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    it is slower, but not by much. They are both dual cores. If you notice the difference in speed then you are probably pushing the dual cores and would be better with a quad core 15". Either way if you have 8 gb of ram and any of the new macs you will be fine for the next 4 years. The question is do you need dual core or quad core?

    I have considered the 15" so many times, but would kick myself for not getting the retina if that was the direction i took.

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